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Correcting The Misconception On Depression - Family - Nairaland

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Correcting The Misconception On Depression by YourCoffin: 11:29am On Sep 22, 2015
"Are you sure you're not depressed because everything you wrote sounds like you're having suicidal thoughts?"

"Eya! Signs of depression."

The above texts are snippets culled from comments left by certain individuals on a thread in this section. The OP had posed a soul-searching question, rather than provide an answer to his question, a number of the commenters assumed the thread was born out of depression and therefore concluded that the OP must be nuturing suicidal thoughts. Although the commenters deemed their comments to be helpful, the characteristic undertones clearly suggest they have a one-directional view on the subject of depression. It clearly portrays that they strictly view depression as a destructive stimulus and their opinions are representative of the general society's.

This observation led me to write this post. Despite that many will consider it a long post, my intention is to provide a balanced view on depression, so that when next someone is observed to be in depressed, a knowledgeable advice can be given to the person.

Contrary to popular belief that a depressive mind is a suicidal mind, depression is actually the opium of creativity (apologies to Karl Marx). According to Paul Andrews, an Evolutionary Biologist at Common Wealth University, "depression is meant to stop you in your tracks because like physical pain, it's a signal that there's something wrong and you need to fix it." This postulation rings true when considering that many times in a rational human life, he/she must have gone through several bouts of depression. Because it's only in that moment that you can trully be able to probe your sense of worth. It's the only during depression that one can be able to develope an accurate consciousness of oneself. It's only during that moment one can form a clear defintion of who one is, what one was, what one has become and where one is heading to.

When in a depressive state, your entire being opens up to you. Your brain's capacity to process information triples because at that moment it completely eliminates trivial thoughts and focuses on the ones that matter. You become able to access your deepest memories. You suddenly become aware of the tiny details about your surrounding and how you fit into them. You begin to make mental calculations in an unsurpassing speed. If you've never formed an opinion before, you begin to form one then. Your whole being becomes a computer; accessing, processing, discarding and retaining information at an overwheming rate. A feat you can never be able to achieve if you're not in a depressed state.

If all this is true, why then do many people portray depression as a sorely destructive state?

The answer to the question is mainly due to the unbalanced representation of depression. Globally, many suicide cases have been wrongly attributed to depression. What people fail to realize is that making a case for such stance is like saying cars are the cause of accidents. They often neglect to consider the driver in-between and that driver in this case is FRUSTRATION.

Frustration is the main cause of suicide, not depression. Like Paul Andrew said, depression helps one to identify the problem in one's life and when one aren't patient enough to figure out a means to solve the problem frustration begins to set in. The more impatient one gets the more explosive the frustration becomes and when it get's to a level where one can't accomodate it anymore one seeks the easiest way out- which is suicide. Of course it can easily be argued that the former gave birth to the latter but doing that is simply overreaching, because the same depression helps exercise the mind and stimulates creative thinking.

However, like every powerful drug, depression have a devastating side effect, hence the pervasive misconception. It makes one prone to intractable frustration. It's illuminating, though, to note that this side effect is mainly experienced by those who are inexperienced on how to handle it or lack the patience to think things through. These set of people are so aversed to brain-tasking activities that they prefer to engage in superficial methods of accessing one's consciousness through activities such as enrolling in Yoga classes and practising the act of meditation. It never occurred to them that when they engage is such practices, they're basically attempting to construct a depressive state in their minds. The realtionship between them and depression is as understandable as the case of forcing an inexperienced pilot to pilot an airplane.

Can these set of people still be able to handle depression? Can they still be able to harness the constructive power of depression? Yes. But only if people will shed their fear of it and start encouraging them to be patient enough not to give in to frustration. They should be adviced to find a nonviolent way to release their frustrations rather than keep it inside. So, when next you see a depressive mind, don't accuse him/her of nurturing suicidal thoughts. Simply tell the fellow to make the best out of it.

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Re: Correcting The Misconception On Depression by echeprecious: 4:16am On Sep 23, 2015
Re: Correcting The Misconception On Depression by pet4ril(f): 4:59am On Sep 23, 2015
Re: Correcting The Misconception On Depression by Olivegreen(f): 7:43am On Dec 12, 2019
Thank you @Yourcoffin

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